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Who said: “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”
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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index S > Nevil Vincent Sidgwick Quotes

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Nevil Vincent Sidgwick
(8 May 1873 - 15 Mar 1952)

English chemist.


Science Quotes by Nevil Vincent Sidgwick (2 quotes)

There was once an Editor of the Chemical Society, given to dogmatic expressions of opinion, who once duly said firmly that 'isomer' was wrong usage and 'isomeride' was correct, because the ending 'er' always meant a 'do-er'. 'As in water?' snapped Sidgwick.
— Nevil Vincent Sidgwick
Obituary of Nevil Vincent Sidgwick by L. E Sutton, Proceedings of the Chemical Society (1958), 318.
Science quotes on:  |  Correct (53)  |  Dogmatism (9)  |  Editor (4)  |  Ending (3)  |  Expression (82)  |  Isomer (5)  |  Nomenclature (129)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Usage (3)  |  Water (244)  |  Wrong (116)

[The] structural theory is of extreme simplicity. It assumes that the molecule is held together by links between one atom and the next: that every kind of atom can form a definite small number of such links: that these can be single, double or triple: that the groups may take up any position possible by rotation round the line of a single but not round that of a double link: finally that with all the elements of the first short period [of the periodic table], and with many others as well, the angles between the valencies are approximately those formed by joining the centre of a regular tetrahedron to its angular points. No assumption whatever is made as to the mechanism of the linkage. Through the whole development of organic chemistry this theory has always proved capable of providing a different structure for every different compound that can be isolated. Among the hundreds of thousands of known substances, there are never more isomeric forms than the theory permits.
— Nevil Vincent Sidgwick
Presidential Address to the Chemical Society (16 Apr 1936), Journal of the Chemical Society (1936), 533.
Science quotes on:  |  Angle (15)  |  Assumption (49)  |  Atom (251)  |  Capability (35)  |  Compound (53)  |  Development (228)  |  Double (12)  |  Isolated (12)  |  Isomer (5)  |  Link (29)  |  Linkage (4)  |  Mechanism (41)  |  Molecule (125)  |  Organic Chemistry (33)  |  Permit (20)  |  Rotation (6)  |  Simplicity (126)  |  Single (72)  |  Structure (191)  |  Tetrahedron (3)  |  Theory (582)


See also:
  • 8 May - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Sidgwick's birth.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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